Al Ahly to meet Esperance in African CL semifinals

BY foxsports • September 20, 2010

Six-time winner Al Ahly of Egypt will face Tunisian club Esperance in the semifinals of the African Champions League following the final round of group games over the weekend.

Defending champion TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo will play Algeria's JS Kabylie in the other two-legged semifinal.

Esperance topped Group A after it beat Dynamos of Zimbabwe 1-0 on Saturday, while TP Mazembe only managed a 0-0 draw with Entente Setif.

Al Ahly and JS Kabylie had already qualified for the semifinals before the final round of group games. Al Ahly lost 4-2 at Egyptian rival Ismaily while Heartland of Nigeria held group winner JS Kabylie to a 1-1 draw in the final Group B fixtures on Sunday.

Esperance confirmed top spot with a 21st-minute goal from captain Oussama Darragi against Dynamos in Harare to leave it with four wins, a draw and a loss in its group games, two points clear of Mazembe.

Dynamos finished bottom of Group A after a fifth defeat.

Mazembe is without two of its top players as captain Tresor Mputu and Guy Lusadisu were suspended for their roles in a brawl in a match in Rwanda in May which resulted in the referee calling off the game.

Mputu has been banned for a year after attacking the referee after a disallowed goal for Mazembe against Rwanda's APR. Midfielder Lusadisu was banned for 11 months for assaulting a security official.

In Ismailia, Abdallah Al Shahat gave Ismaily the lead after just five minutes. Veteran Mohamed Barakat equalized for Ahly after 35 minutes, but striker Ahmed Ali restored Ismaily's lead before halftime. Moatesem made it 3-1 in the 70th before Ali's second put the game beyond reach, although Ahly grabbed a late consolation through Mohamed Talaat.

Ahly chose to rest a number of its top players, including Egypt internationals Mohamed Aboutrika and Wael Gomaa.

JS Kabylie ended the group stages as the competition's only unbeaten team after four wins and two draws.

The two-legged semifinals are scheduled to start the weekend of Oct. 2-3.

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